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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 27, 2017 01:24 PM
From: Representative Kurt A. Masser
To: All House members
Subject: Require repayment of Act 71's original loans
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to require the PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to begin assessing casinos for repayment of the $36.1 million in loans that were authorized under the PA Race Horse Development and Gaming Act (Act 71 of 2004).

Currently, regulatory costs associated with the regulation of the casino industry are fully-paid for by the casinos themselves through periodic assessments. However, when Act 71 was originally signed into law, the Act authorized $36.1 million in loans from the General Fund for fiscal years 2004-2006. The purpose of these loans was to provide the PGCB, Department of Revenue and the PA State Police with start-up costs associated with the legalization and regulation of slot machine licensees (casinos). Subsequently, in FY 2007-2008, additional loans totaling $63.8 million were also made for the purpose of covering regulatory costs due to the limited number of operating casinos at this time.

In 2010, the General Assembly amended the Fiscal Code to require the PGCB to adopt a repayment schedule to assess casinos for repayment of the $63.8 million in loans made in FY 2007-2008. However, the current language of Act 71 does not require casinos to begin repaying the original $36.1 million loan until all slot machine licenses have been issued and are operating. At this time, a total of three slot machine licenses have yet to be issued, and the issuance of two of these licenses has been significantly delayed for various reasons. For this reason, I believe it is time to require repayment of Act 71’s original loans.

Under my legislation, the PGCB will adopt a repayment schedule requiring periodic assessments on casinos, which will be proportional to each casino’s gross terminal revenue. The repayment schedule is at the discretion of the PGCB; however, the $36.1 million in loans must be paid within five years.

Please consider cosponsoring this legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Abbott at 260-6134.

Introduced as HB965